Freestyler Natas Coats (2023) Gives Army West Point Much-Needed Distance Depth

Fitter and Faster Swim Camps is the proud sponsor of SwimSwam’s College Recruiting Channel and all commitment news. For many, swimming in college is a lifelong dream that is pursued with dedication and determination. Fitter and Faster is proud to honor these athletes and those who supported them on their journey.

Natas Coats, a freestyler from Santa Maria, California, has committed to swim and study at the United States Military Academy West Point, joining the class of 2027.

“It’s an honor to announce my verbal commitment to Army West Point to continue my education and athletics. I appreciate the many coaches, teachers, and friends that have helped me get here. Go Army!”

Coats is a senior at Ernest Righetti High School and competes year-round for Santa Maria Swim Club. He competes primarily as a mid-distance freestyler, trending into distance freestyle. Coats had a great NCSA Spring Championship meet in March 2022, setting bests in his 200, 500, 1000, and 1650-yard freestyles. His highest placing events were his 1000-yard free and his mile, touching 21st in both timed finals with times of 9:25.17 and 15:42.84, respectively. He also placed 106th in the 200-yard free (1:43.41) and 34th in the 500-yard free (4:34.97). 

Best Times SCY:

  • 100 free — 48.13
  • 200 free — 1:43.41
  • 500 free — 4:34.97
  • 1000 free — 9:25.17
  • 1650 free — 15:42.84

The Army Black Knights have a pretty deep field in the sprint freestyle events up to the 200-yard freestyle. However, from the 500-yard freestyle upwards they have very little depth. Army was second to Navy at the 2022 Patriot League Conference Championships, losing the legendary rivalry mostly due to Navy’s depth in the distance free. Historically, Navy has absolutely dominated the Patriot League — they have won the last eighteen championship titles in a row. Army has been narrowing the gap, however; at the 2022 championships, they lost to Navy narrowly by 133.5 points, versus their 374.5 point defeat in 2020 (no conference meet in 2021). Army men also beat Navy in their annual dual meet in December 2022, 192-108.

Most notably, Navy took the top three places in the 500-yard freestyle while Army only had 3 finalists total in the event. Army had a similar issue in the mile, where junior Ian Tansill won in a school record of 14:57.60 and sophomore Wes Tate placed third but there was only one other Army swimmer in the whole event. 

Given Coats trends into distance freestyle more than sprint, he’ll be adding to Army’s much-needed depth in those events. With his current bests, Coats would have placed 26th in the 200-yard freestyle, 16th in the 500-yard free, and 9th in the mile, just out of the finals heat. 

Coats will join fellow Californians Thomas Hadji and Joey Chang, as well as Nebraskan Kalvin Hahn for the class of 2027.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

About the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour 

Fitter & Faster Swim Camps feature the most innovative teaching platforms for competitive swimmers of all levels. Camps are produced year-round throughout the USA and Canada. All camps are led by elite swimmers and coaches. Visit to find or request a swim camp near you.


Instagram – @fitterandfasterswimtour
Facebook – @fitterandfastertour
Twitter – @fitterandfaster

FFT is a SwimSwam partner.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Yeah I mean they only went 1-2-3 in the 1000 at the star meet, they should totally be going 1-2-3-4 and desperately needed some distance depth here

1 month ago

Definitely appreciate the effort put in to this article, but considering Army went 1-2-3 at the Army/Navy dual meet in the 1000 and the 500 “much needed depth” is a bit of an exaggeration.

Either way, huge congratulations to Natas! A great adventure ahead of you.